WCS Staff Technology Updates: Policy and Software

WCS Staff Technology Updates: Policy and Software

Hello! With the move to Mosyle (our new device management system–replacing JAMF) this summer, we have a few great features we are able to roll out and a few policy changes to announce. These changes will impact BOTH iPads and Macs. Please take a moment to read though how these changes will impact you this school year…and encourage your colleagues who don’t commonly read these updates to take a moment too.

District Wide Technology Updates

District Communication

The move to extended campus learning in the spring saw the rapid deployment of communication technologies for video and text based communication. It has also prompted an in-depth look at what platforms and tools are available for Westside and has sparked discussions around student data privacy. Google Meet and Google Chat have served us well during our first foray into remote learning. However, many teachers have requested more capabilities to use when conducting synchronous (people on at the same time communicating with each other) remote learning. Some have also asked for an improved asynchronous (people sending messages that will be read by others at a different time) collaborative platform for both staff and students.

With that in mind, we are happy to announce the move to Cisco Webex as an all-in-one platform for Westside! The Webex platform works well across Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android.

Webex Teams will be a collaborative space where staff can have ‘teams’ (groups of people) and ‘spaces’ (common communication areas) to message one another. Webex Teams also integrates into the Blackboard learning management system used by WMS and WHS to provide for rich blended and extended campus learning functionality. 

What is the difference between a space and a team and their advantages? 

Spaces: You can think of a space as a virtual room with two or more people, where you can send messages, make calls, have video meetings, share files, and whiteboard with everyone in the space.

Teams: Teams help keep everything organized and are great for a group of people working together on multiple projects and across various spaces.

Webex Teams will replace Google Chat.

Webex Meetings will be the district-approved video conferencing platform and will replace the Google Meet platform that we have been using for the past few months. It includes many advanced features such as an increased grid view, high definition video, iPad screen sharing, private meeting rooms, automatic meeting recordings and more. We’ve also worked with Cisco to preview their roadmap and many more features are on their way. Again, Webex Meetings will replace Google Meet.

You can read more about Webex at: 

FaceTime and Messages

NOTE: On the internet and on digital devices identity is a challenge.  There is only one YOU, but online there are different “you” identities that can/can’t do certain things in some contexts and other “you” identities that can/can’t do things in other contexts.  Get ready, we will be discussing some different “you” identities below.   

The Facetime and Messages apps will continue to be available for staff on district devices. HOWEVER, a Westside district Managed Apple ID will NOT work with these apps( Facetime and Messages). You will have to use a personal Apple ID. Messages and Facetime are not to be used for school business, nor are they supported by tech support. Any Westside related communication should be done through district email, phone, Webex Teams, or Webex Meetings.

Facetime and Messages are not managed by the district and do not conform to the legal requirements that all district communication needs to (i.e., there is no e-discovery, no ability to trace communication back to an individual, no ability to monitor accounts, etc.). 

You should also be aware that since these communications are done on a district device, you still need to follow all rules and regulations about communications surrounding elections. That means you may NOT communicate, advocate or otherwise promote a candidate on your work device, even if your iMessages sync over. 

Their availability on Mac and iPad is for staff conveniences and personal use ONLY.


Westside Access Login

In order to simplify the login process for students and staff, we are trying to consolidate the number of login credentials that we need to keep track of.  We are moving as many systems as possible to Westside Access – our name for Microsoft Login. This is your email address and email password.

You will also use Westside Access in order to log in to GOOGLE and GMAIL. While it may seem a bit odd, when you log into Google services, you’ll be redirected to Microsoft and Westside Access to log in. Your email address and password remain the same. For detailed information and screenshots, please check out the Area 66 article: https://area66.westside66.org/login-processes-for-westside-services/



Starting this year we are enabling Filevault on every Staff Mac. What is Filevault? FileVault is a disk encryption feature built into the MacOS / Mac OS X, FileVault provides encryption with a 256-bit key to encrypt the disk and all files located on the drive. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to the Mac and protects your data AND information about your students from bad people. Since the disk and all file contents are encrypted, the password will be required on boot before the computer, data, and files can be accessed. What do I need to do? Once you enroll into the new management system, Mosyle, it will automatically be set up. You will have to restart your computer once.

Self Service

Self Service is dead, long live Self Service! You’ll notice that with the move to Mosyle, the old Self-Service app is no longer available. In Mosyle, the app is titled, “Manager”. Inside of Manager, you’ll find a tab titled “Self-Service”. It’s from there that you’ll go to download apps. For a brief introduction please visit: Mosyle Manager

System Updates

For the 2020-21 school year, ALL STAFF and STUDENTS need to be updated to macOS 10.15 “Catalina”. With 10.15 comes a lot of new features please read this article to learn more! https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/macos-10-15/

Throughout the year, there may be updates to macOS that need to be installed. Tech support will notify you of these updates and provide directions for any steps you may need to take.

Microsoft Office

Once you update to macOS 10.15 and move over to Mosyle, the current installation of Microsoft Office will be deleted. DON’T WORRY! Office and your Office files aren’t going anywhere. The current installation is deleted because we are moving to a new licensing and activation model that will make updates easier and quicker for you. If you are an Office user, install a new copy from Manager and then when prompted to activate, sign in with your full school email address and password via the Westside Access screen. When opening up Office for the first time, you may be prompted to enter an administrator password multiple times. That is normal – you are just giving the program permission to run. Your computer password (also your email password) will work to authenticate.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Once you update to macOS 10.15 and move over to Mosyle, you will need to reinstall the Adobe Creative Cloud from Mosyle. Once installed you will find Adobe Creative Cloud in your Applications folder. Once launched you will be prompted to login to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The following presentation will walk you through the setup process. https://area66.westside66.org/downloading-adobe-creative-cloud/


Self Service

Self Service is dead, long live Self Service! You’ll notice that with the move to Mosyle, the old Self-Service app is no longer available. In Mosyle, the app is titled, “Manager”. Inside of Manager, you’ll find a tab titled “Self-Service”. It’s from there that you’ll go to download apps.

App Recommendations

Web Browsers

Safari has received a MAJOR update with iPadOS 13. Now, it functions very similarly to Safari on the Mac. It brings with it a full, desktop-class browsing experience to iPad. In fact, Safari is the only way to edit Google Sites on iPad – Chrome doesn’t work. Because of this, Safari is the ONLY browser we support on iPad.


For the 2020-21 school year, we are still supporting and deploying the Google suite of apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive) for student and staff use. You may continue to use these apps as you have before. 

For 2021-22, as we move to the larger 12.9” iPad for staff, and a 10”+ sized iPad for students, we will be moving away from the Google-developed apps when using our beloved Google services (Docs, Sheets, Slides), to using Safari to access these items. The experience of using Google Docs in Safari on iPad will be the same experience of using Google Docs in Safari/Chrome on your MacBook. This should help with having a consistent user experience across platforms. You may, of course, use Safari NOW as your primary way to access Google Docs, Sheets and Slides if you would like.


On iPad, the default recommendation for how to access your district email is Apple’s built in Mail app. Mail has many built in tools and integrates well with the iPad. This is the only option for student use. 

If you would like a different email client, two options are available in Manager: Spark and Gmail. In the past, Gmail did not support iPad features such as multitasking and spilt view. That has recently changed and it now supports all the needed features to be an approved Westside email app. 


Starting with the 2020-21 school year, all staff will be required to set a passcode on their iPad. This will help keep your iPad secure, and protect student data. The iPad will prompt you to set a passcode up as soon as you enroll it in Mosyle. You can also set up TouchID on your iPad so you don’t have to type in your passcode as often.

Software Updates

Starting with the 2020-21 school year, we are asking ALL staff and students to stay up to date with the latest software updates from Apple. If there is an update we don’t want to deploy yet (e.g., it needs additional testing for state exams), we now have the capability to prevent it from installing at the district level.

What does this mean for you? Every so often, check the Software Updates section of the System Preferences and run any available updates. This will ensure you have the latest features, bug fixes and security patches.

IPad Tips and Tricks

New to iPad? Wondering how to multitask, download personal apps from the app store, or use Microsoft Office? Check out the Google Slides doc below for more information. We continually update the slides with new tips and tricks based on frequent questions we receive.